Gyumri is a strategic gateway and focal point for the development of tourism in Northern Armenia. It is a principal geographic point among five strategic locations within our larger vision for tourism and urban development in Armenia. Here, we started by highlighting the beauty and historical value of the city. In the early stages, before developing our own projects, we cooperated with and supported initiatives by our partners.


Gyumri Project Hope was a non-profit urban planning foundation, focused on improving Gyumri in various sectors to curb, or eliminate, the city’s depopulation crisis. Among the initiators of the project are Vahan Kololian, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Armenian Relief Society (ARS).

Gyumri Project Hope conducted various research to develop a long-term Master Plan for Gyumri city focusing on infrastructure development, housing issues and perspectives, educational/cultural development, tourism, agriculture, industry regeneration and restoration, and the perspectives of its further development.


Gyumri’s “Kumayri” historic and architectural compound is a large urban planning complex that occupies an area of about 1,000 hectares. It includes more than 1,600 architectural monuments dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, and was formally provided with monument status as far back as in 1980. It is comprised of residential houses, public buildings, industrial constructions, workshops, churches, bridges, military structures, an underground running water system, and baths, amongst other things.

This historic urban planning compound, which is extremely rich in monuments, was getting ever poorer with every passing year: many monuments were in critical condition and were becoming gradually destroyed.

In 2017, Gyumri Project Hope (GPH) and Central Bank of Armenia partnered up to develop the “Incorporating the historic district of Kumayri” project proposal.

GPH conducted a detailed analysis of available properties, categorised them into national, local and proposed heritage, and finally, identified available territory for businesses to further expand.

As a result, the “Kumayri revival program” was piloted by the Government, and supported by the international and private donors. Two main streets – Rustaveli and Shirazi, and 7 connecting small streets were reconstructed within the framework of the program. To date over 10 hospitality businesses emerged in the area, and the tourist flow multiplied.


This concept looks to develop the area in Armenia that overlooks the ancient medieval Armenian city of Ani, located in Turkey. In July 2016, Ani was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the 10th to the 14th centuries, Ani was an important trade city situated on the Silk Road that extended from China to Europe. It gained the traditional title of “the city of one thousand and one churches”.

GYUMRI: We have also sponsored a number of cultural initiatives


One of concerts in the series of Marine Alés “One of You” was held in Gyumri in 2015.

Along with concerts, gifts were provided for cultural centers. The Gyumri Sheram Music School and the Gyumri City Hall’s Ani Orchestra received wind instruments.


Concert by Vladimir Avetissyan and D’Black Blues Orchestra


Hartak Festival is based around the concept of ‘experience sharing’: the free exchange of knowledge for knowledge, skill for skill. This idea materializes in the form of a series of workshops in a huge variety of topics, divided amongst four sections: arts; technologies; healthy lifestyle; DIY.


“Gyumri RockFest -2016” dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence. Gyumri hosted dozen Armenian and foreign rock bands.

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Dear Visitor,

We are glad you are interested in the activities of the IDeA Foundation.

On this platform, you can learn about two-decades long thought, passion, commitment and hard work — all in pursuit of a more prosperous Armenia. The road has been long and reflections many. But we managed to achieve to a point where our work has left its mark on the lives of millions of people and we are really proud of it.

Our accomplishments are the fruit of a collective effort by hundreds of thousands of promoters and volunteers, tens of thousands of donors and supporters, hundreds of colleagues and dozens of founding partners. Together, we have shown what wonderous things can be achieved when people strive for realization of a common goal.

Allow our family, who was lucky enough to witness these remarkable achievements from the beginning, to express our sincere gratitude to numerous wonderful, caring, purposeful people and organizations that made all these achievements possible. We have the honor to present their successes and express our gratitude to them.

We have tried to present the key landmarks of our journey to a brighter Armenia, to chart the lessons learned, and some of the new approaches and initiatives they have forged — the 700 projects over the last 20 years.

We hope that learning about these works will be as pleasant for you as it is for us to tell about them.

But, more importantly, we would like to see you among those Armenians who will continue this path together with us in the future.

If a single community of like-minded people working towards the realization of a common vision of the future can achieve such a result, imagine what kind of changes can be made if the efforts of the entire nation were directed towards creation. Together we can dream.

And, together, we can make our dreams come true.

Thank You,

Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend